All Our Tragic Progress Update: 10/17/2013


I hope your day is going well.

I wanted to remind you of the upcoming public events for All Our Tragic in Cambridge, MA. December 7th, 2013 10:30 AM to 10:30 PM (A rehearsed reading) and May 17th, 2014 10 AM to 10 PM (The first staged workshop). If you haven’t already, please let me know if you are hoping to attend either of these events, especially if you are going to be traveling from outside the Boston area. I would love to have you there and want to make sure we have enough space and yummy food.

Now for the update on the script-  the workshops are going well. I am so thankful to have this year to focus solely on the development of this project. In fact, even with the elimination of other distractions, I still don’t seem to have enough time to complete all of the daily work I want to do. I feel that every positive adjustment leads to two or three other discoveries that need attention. The actors are getting comfortable with the process, and in their comfort their criticisms are getting more specific and sometimes constructively aggressive, problems that have eluded previous groups do not escape this cast.

For example, we finished most of our work on Part 1 and the cast mentioned there was something strange about the structure of the plays for the last two acts of the first part, Act 4 and Act 5. I had always had a sense this was true, but was able to ignore the problem in the past thinking there is no remedy for the timeline I had set over a year ago. Through a great conversation with the actors, we saw a better structure.

Not to get to weighed down with specifics, but it used to be Act 4: The Rage of Herakles, Seven Against Thebes, and Labors and Lies (Women of Trachis) then Act 5: The Suppliant (by Euripides), After Herakles (Herakles’ Children), and Antigone. Act 5 was the real problem because The Suppliant and After Herakles were both less exciting than other plays, it ended well with Antigone, but you had to get through some material that wasn’t as resonate.

Now Act 4 deals with the three Herakles plays, The Rage of HeraklesLabors and Lies and  After Herakles. Then Act 5 features the final three Theban plays Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliant and Antigone. The structure works so much better. Also, with this new alignment, I was able to finally see some of the problems I had with The Suppliant and After Herakles, I made some adjustments. Now that those plays are together in the same act they function so much more effectively, I hope now I can keep the audience emotionally attached.

We started working on Part 2 the other night by reading and discussing Act 6. I think there was much advancement to the commonly problem section of Rhesus, which I know call The Night Before War in the Town of Troy, what that title lacks in poetry it gains in clarity. As previously mentioned in this blog, I added a spying Achilles and Odysseus as a type of chorus, it works really well. But on the other side of success, The Persian Crows (my version of The Persians, through which I tell about the death of Hector and Achilles) is always a terrible problem. I made some major adjustments since the reading on Tuesday. I cut down on the chorus of dead soldiers, they only appear at the end, which I think is a lot less gimmicky. I also strengthened the relations between Achilles and Patroklos. Now the rage Achilles feels when Patroklos is killed is much clearer, for some reason I could never really find the emotionality Achilles needed, I think I am closer. Finally, I was able to add more sections directly adapted from the original Persians, which makes me happy because I feel like I am cheating less. Next week we’ll see how well those edits work.

That’s it for now. Thank you for reading. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I hope you are enjoying fall.

Sincerely, Sean

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